SARAH BUITENDACH: Hell has nothing on these curses of life
A damnation-worthy list of life’s vexations, joy vortexes and antivaxxers
You probably know Jason Sudeikis for his role as the incandescently kind Ted Lesso, in the hit Apple TV+ series of the same name. His portrayal of a US football coach hired to head up a Premier League British soccer team has been the perfect counterattack to corona doom, and earned the US actor an Emmy.
Long before Ted bicycle-kicked Sudeikis’s star into the stratosphere, he was known for a decidedly less angelic part. He played The Devil.
For 10 years, Sudeikis was a cast member of the US skit TV show Saturday Night Live (SNL). During that time he’d appear as a caricature Prince of Darkness – three-piece red satin suit and fork included – satirising how current world events made hell seem cool by comparison.
As SNL’s guest star this past weekend, Sudeikis reprised Satan, lampooning everyone and everything – even claiming responsibility for inventing global warming, bitcoin and vaping. He ignored a call from Prince Andrew – “he’s blowing my phone up all the time with all these pics coming out of him, me and J Eps”, he exclaimed with a drawl. And then, hilariously, he denied having anything to do with the far-right conspiracy movement QAnon. “Those guys are crazy,” El Diablo added.
Old Nick’s late-night admission about what he’d been fashioning was impressive, but, I thought, a tad abridged. Sure, he owned up to the botched “Instagram Kids”, deadly storms and pop-up ads that take up the entire screen as you scroll, but what about life’s other vexations, joy vortexes and antivaxxers?
Taking a bit of liberty, I’ve added to the man down below’s damnation-worthy list. And, yes, this kind of snarky stunt is more Lucifer than Lasso, but I’m sure you’ll agree with my additions. They are, unranked:
- Political party spam phone canvassing. An inferno of calls from the various parties has lit up so many of our phones over the past few weeks. SMSes too. You usually ghost us, but now you need our support in next week’s elections, so now you want to chat? Talk about toxic, one-sided and unfulfilling relationships. Thank goodness for Truecaller.
- People who schedule any kind of work meeting after 2pm on a Friday. We’re saving a special place in Hades next to the broken aircon, just for you.
- CC-ing. Only made worse by everyone working from home. No-one wants to be part of your arse covering or sucking up to the boss. E-mail has taken over our lives (apparently, 306.4-billion e-mails are sent every day worldwide – and 55% of these are spam). Do your bit for sanity – leave me out the loop!
- World Champagne Day. Much like World Pistachio Day or World Pretzel Day (both exist) in its depth of meaning and provenance, except this triumph by crafty marketers had influencers and wannabes sabrage-ing themselves into a frenzy last week. One never needs an excuse for a glass of bubbles, and I hope the world’s third-richest person – LVMH’s chair and CEO Bernard Arnault – says a big merci to those who jumped on this gimmicky celebration. It will add a nice bump to his various bubbly houses’ bottom lines.
- Voicenotes for work. I was briefly guilty of this and then realised that I’m neither hosting a podcast, nor am I 17. I have mended my flaky ways. You can’t listen to them if you’re in a meeting, they’re irritating to reference later (no cut and paste) and much slower to take in than a quick peruse of a text or mail.
- iPhone cables. Mortgage your house to buy the real thing, or go for a cheaper faux alternative and have your phone charge at the speed of evolution, if you’re lucky. Either way, the cable will fray and break just as it joins the lightning connector in a couple of months, guaranteed. Good-looking and intuitive planned obsolescence – Apple at its finest.
- People who comment on social media and WhatsApp group posts when they don’t know the answer to the question being asked. You ask: “Do you know a good dentist in Rosebank?” Person A: “No, sorry.” Person B: “My guy in Durban is great.” Really useful, thanks.
- Social media and WhatsApp groups.
What would you add to the list? Send me your ghastly and ghoulish best.
Buitendach is a contributing editor to the FM
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